Daily Current Affairs and GK | 26 and 27 January 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 27 Jan 2024 16:52 PM IST

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Topic: Awards and Prizes

1. Three Indian Scientists received the UK’s Prestigious Blavatnik Awards.

  • Professors Rahul R. Nair, Mehul Malik, and Dr Tanmay Bharat have been selected for the prestigious Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the United Kingdom.
  • The awards will be presented at a ceremony in London on February 27.
  • Dr Tanmay Bharat has made significant contributions in the fields of chemical, physical, and life sciences.
  • Professor Rahul R. Nair contributed to the field of chemical sciences which led to advancements in materials science and nanotechnology.
  • His research on graphene and other 2D materials has the potential to revolutionize various industries.
  • Professor Mehul Malik has conducted research in the field of physical sciences.
  • Blavatnik Awards:
    • It is given to support early-career scientists.
    • This award help to bridge the gap between laboratory discoveries and real-world applications.
    • It was established in 2007 through a partnership between the Blavatnik Family Foundation, headed by Leonard Blavatnik.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings/

2. An ‘investment forum for advancing climate resilient agrifood systems in India’ has been launched by NITI Aayog, Agriculture Ministry, and FAO.

  • ‘Investment Forum for Advancing Climate Resilient Agrifood Systems in India’ has been jointly launched by NITI Aayog, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in New Delhi.
  • It has been launched during a two-day Multi-stakeholder Meeting held on January 18-19, 2024.
  • National priorities, investment opportunities, partnerships, technical support and cooperation have been discussed with stakeholders.
  • The main aim of this initiative is to develop an investment and partnership for advanced climate-resilient agri-food systems among the government, private sectors, farmers' organisations, and financial institutions in India.
  • This forum will help in identifying national priorities and policy platforms for financing climate-resilient agrifood systems.
  • The Forum facilitated discussions and deliberations on six key areas, which are as follows:
    • (i) Climate resilient agriculture (experiences and pathways)
    • (ii) Digital infrastructure and solutions
    • (iii) Financing climate-resilient agri-food systems (domestic and global)
    • (iv) Climate-resilient value chains
    • (v) Production practices and inputs for climate resilience
    • (vi) Gender mainstreaming and social inclusion for climate resilience.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

3. 2024 Padma Vibhushan awarded to M Venkaiah Naidu, Chiranjeevi, Vyjayantimala Bali, Padma Subrahmanyam, and Bindeshwar Pathak.

  • The central government announced on the eve of Republic Day that former Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, actors Chiranjeevi and Vyjayanthimala Bali, and Bharatnatyam dancer Padma Subramaniam will be honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian award.
  • With this award, Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International, will also be honoured posthumously.
  • As per the list, 132 Padma awards, including 2 dual awards (in case of a dual award the award is counted as one) have been approved.
  • The list includes 5 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan, and 110 Padma Shri awards.
  • Among the awardees, 30 are women and the list also includes 8 individuals from the Foreigner/NRI/PIO/OCI category and 9 posthumous awardees.
  • Padma awards are among the highest civilian awards of the country.
  • These awards are given in three categories, namely Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri.
  • Padma awards are given in various subjects/fields of activities, such as arts, social work, public events, science and engineering, business and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil services, etc.
  • 'The Padma Vibhushan Award is given for rendering exceptional and distinguished service. 'Padma Bhushan' is given for distinguished service of high order.
  • 'Padma Shri' is awarded for distinguished service in any field.
  • These awards are announced every year on the occasion of Republic Day.
  • These awards are presented by the President at a formal ceremony, usually held at Rashtrapati Bhavan around March/April every year.

Topic: Sports

4. Virat Kohli won the ICC Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year award for the fourth time.

  • For his exceptional performance in the 2023 season, Indian cricketing legend Virat Kohli won the prestigious ICC men's ODI Cricketer of the Year award.
  • Kohli received this accolade due to his excellent performances in the ODI format, especially during the World Cup held in India.
  • Kohli emerged as the second-highest run-scorer in ODIs with a total of 1,377 runs in ODIs, behind his compatriot Shubman Gill in the 2023 season.
  • The award is Kohli's seventh individual ICC honor in his illustrious career, and his fourth in the ODI category after previous wins in 2012, 2017, and 2018.
  • Additionally, he achieved the Test award in 2018, while in 2017 and 2018, he won the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year.

Awards Category


ICC men's ODI Cricketer of the Year award

Virat Kohli

Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the Men's Cricketer of the Year

Australian captain Pat Cummins

Men's Test Cricketer of the Year

Australia batter Usman Khawaja

Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for Women's Cricketer of the Year

England all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt

Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year award

Sri Lanka's Chamari Athapaththu

David Shepherd Trophy for Umpire of the Year

England umpire Richard Illingworth

Spirit of Cricket Award


Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

5. India's first private helicopter assembly line will be set up by Airbus, and Tata together.

  • Airbus Helicopters has announced that it is partnering with Tata Group to set up a Final Assembly Line (FAL) for civil helicopters in the country, making it India's first helicopter assembly facility in the private sector.
  • The announcement came during French President Emmanuel Macron's two-day visit to India as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.
  • Under this partnership, FAL will produce Airbus's best-selling H125 single-engine civil helicopter for India and export to some neighboring countries.
  • Under this partnership, Tata Group subsidiary Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) will set up the facility with Airbus Helicopters.
  • Airbus and Tata are already setting up an FAL in Vadodara for the C-295 military transport aircraft under a contract to supply 56 aircraft to the Indian Air Force.
  • The FAL in India will undertake major component assemblies, avionics and mission systems, installation of electrical harnesses, hydraulic circuits, flight controls, dynamic components, and integration of fuel systems and engines.
  • In India and the region, it will also do testing, qualification, and delivery of the H125 to customers.
  • The FAL will take 24 months to install and deliveries of the first 'Made in India' H125 are expected to begin in 2026.
  • The H125 is the world's best-selling single-engine helicopter, outperforming other helicopters in its category.

Topic: Defence

6. ‘Ammunition Cum Torpedo Cum Missile Barge, LSAM 19 (Yard 129)’, 5th Barge of 11 x ACTCM Barge Project launched.

  • On 24 January, the ‘Ammunition Cum Torpedo Cum Missile Barge, LSAM 19 (Yard 129)’, 5th Barge of 11 x ACTCM Barge Project was launched at M/s Suryadipta Project Pvt Ltd.
  • It has been built by MSME Shipyard, M/s Suryadipta Projects Pvt Ltd, Thane for the Indian Navy.
  • The inauguration ceremony was presided over by Commodore V Praveen, AWPS (MBI).
  • On 05 Mar 2021, the contract for building 11 X ACTCM Barge was signed between MoD and M/s Suryadipta Projects Pvt Ltd, Thane.
  • The availability of these barges will expedite the operational commitments of the Indian Navy by facilitating transportation, loading, and unloading of cargo/ammunition to Indian Naval (IN) ships at wharves and outboard ports.
  • These barges are indigenously designed and manufactured under the relevant naval rules and regulations of the Indian Shipping Register.
  • Model testing of the barge was carried out at the Naval Science and Technology Laboratory, Visakhapatnam during the design phase.
  • These barges are the proud flag bearers of the Make in India initiative of the Government of India.

Ammunition Cum Torpedo Cum Missile Barge

(Source: PIB)

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Topic: Corporates/Companies

7. RBI has approved LIC’s application to take over a 9.99% aggregate holding of paid-up share capital in HDFC Bank.

  • In an exchange filing, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) informed about this under Regulation 30 of the SEBI Listing Regulations.
  • LIC had earlier applied to acquire voting rights in the HDFC Bank.
  • The approval granted by RBI is subject to compliance with the relevant provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
  • It is also subject to RBI’s Master Direction and Guidelines on Acquisition and Holding of Shares or Voting Rights in Banking Companies dated January 16, 2023.
  • The approval is also subject to provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 and the provisions of the regulations issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
  • As per RBI regulations, LIC will have to acquire the 9.99% stake within a year. It will have to ensure that its holding never crosses the 9.99% mark.

Topic: Important Days

8. International Customs Day: 26 January

  • International Customs Day is observed every year on 26 January to highlight the contribution of customs officials and agencies.
  • The Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) officially declared this date to be International Customs Day in 1953.
  • The opening of the session took place in Brussels, Belgium. At that session, participants were from seventeen European nations.
  • The Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) was renamed as the World Customs Organisation in 1994. It has 182 member states worldwide at the present.
  • World Customs Organisation is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. Ian Saunders is its secretary general.
  • This year, the theme of International Customs Day is “Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners with Purpose”.

Topic: International News

9. India and France agreed to enhance cooperation in the Southwest Indian Ocean.

  • India and France have agreed to intensify joint surveillance missions from the French island territory of La Reunion.
  • Prime Minister Modi and French President Macron agreed to further deepen the long-standing partnership based on their common vision for the Indo-Pacific region.
  • According to the joint statement, the defence and security partnership plays a key role in the India-France partnership in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • India and France also committed to revitalizing the trilateral cooperation with Australia.
  • They also agreed to explore opportunities for coordinating economic projects and programmes in the Pacific.
  • Both leaders also called for the early launching of the Indo-Pacific Triangular Development Cooperation Fund to promote green technology in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Both sides also agreed on a letter of intent to boost defence space cooperation.
  • New Space India Ltd (NSIL) also signed an MoU with France’s Arianespace on satellite launch capabilities.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

10. President Droupadi Murmu approved 277 Gallantry awards on the occasion of Republic Day.

  • On the occasion of the 75th Republic Day, President Droupadi Murmu approved 277 Gallantry awards.
  • 119 awards have been approved for personnel deployed in left-wing extremism-affected areas. 133 are from the Jammu & Kashmir region, and 25 personnel are from other regions.
  • A total of 1132 personnel have been awarded Gallantry/Service Medals on the occasion of Republic Day 2024.
  • In recent years, the government has merged Gallantry/Service medals, Sixteen Gallantry/Service medals (for Police, Fire Service, Home Guard & Civil Defence, and Correctional Service into the four medals: President’s Medal for Gallantry (PMG), Medal for Gallantry (GM), President's Medal for Distinguished Service (PSM), and Medal for Meritorious Service (MSM).
  • Three Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs) of the Delhi Police Special Cell awarded the President's Medal.
  • Out of 753 Medals for Meritorious Service (MSM), 667 have been awarded to Police Service, 32 to Fire Service, 27 to Civil Defence & Home Guard Service, and 27 to Correctional Service.

Topic: State News/ Odisha

11. Odisha will set up the first-of-its-kind melanistic tiger safari in the world.

  • The safari will be set up near the Mayurbhanj district in the town of Baripada. The melanistic tiger safari will be near Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in Mayurbhanj.
  • For this purpose, an area of 200 hectares adjacent to National Highway-18 has been identified.
  • There will be approximately 100 hectares of the demonstration area and the remaining area will be used to build veterinary care facilities, including a rescue centre, staff infrastructure, and visitor facilities.
  • Simlipal Tiger Reserve is the only tiger habitat in the world with melanistic tigers, which have broad black stripes on their bodies.
  • According to the last All India Tiger Estimation Report published by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in 2018, melanistic tigers have been found in the wild only in the Similipal Tiger Reserve.
  • In October 2024, the project is likely to be opened to visitors.
  • The forest department will shift three melanistic or black tigers and two other big cats from Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneswar to the safari near Similipal.
  • In 2007, the reserve first reported the presence of melanistic tigers.

Topic: National News

12. 75th Republic Day of India: 26 January

  • The 75th Republic Day of India was celebrated from the Kartavya path of New Delhi on 26 January 2024.
  • This day is celebrated to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India on 26 January 1950.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron was the chief guest for the 75th Republic Day celebrations in the national capital.
  • A 95-member marching squad and a 33-member band squad from France also took part in the parade.
  • The 75th Republic Day Parade was women-centric with the themes of ‘Viksit Bharat’ and ‘Bharat - Loktantra ki Matruka’.
  • For the first time, the parade started with 100 women artists playing Indian musical instruments.
  • During the parade, a total of 25 tableaux from 16 States/Union Territories and nine Ministries/Departments rolled down on the Kartavya path.
  • On the occasion of the 75th year of the Republic this year, the Ministry of Defence also released a Commemorative Coin and Commemorative Stamp.

Topic: National Appointments

13. Justice Prasanna B Varale was appointed as Supreme Court Judge.

  • Karnataka High Court's Chief Justice has been appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • The Union government approved the Supreme Court Collegium's recommendation of elevating Prasanna B Varale as a judge of the apex court.
  • At present, the Supreme Court's strength reached at 34 Judges.
  • Justice Varale was appointed as a Judge of the High Court of Bombay on July 18, 2008.
  • He was appointed as Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka on October 15, 2022.
  • Appointment of Supreme Court Judge:
    • President, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, appoints a judge of the Supreme Court.
    • Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President under Article 124.
    • Supreme Court Judges retire upon attaining the age of 65 years.
    • A judge of the Supreme Court can be removed only by an order of the president, based on a motion passed by both houses of parliament.

Topic: Defence

14. Defence ministry signed a contract with Mazagon Dock for 14 Fast Patrol Vessels.

  • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) to acquire 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
  • The value of the 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) will be Rs 1,070 crore.
  • These FPVs will be indigenously designed, developed and manufactured by MDL under the ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM)’ acquisition category.
  • These FPVs will be delivered in 63 months. These FPVs will be equipped with multipurpose drones, wirelessly controlled remote water rescue craft, lifebuoy and Al (artificial intelligence) capability, etc.
  • These FPVs will boost the capability of the Indian Coast Guard and will enhance maritime security.
  • These FPVs will play a key role in enhancing fisheries protection and monitoring, control and surveillance.
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